The State of our Civilization that Makes this Project Necessary
We live in a global society that paradoxically is both highly integrated and deeply divided, and we can recognize this as a philosophical crisis. If we take a high-level view of the recent major global developments, we can see that our civilization is at a crossroads. One path leads to further division, culture wars, and hostility towards science. The forces driving this are anti-intellectual and anti-creative. This path could take many of the nations of the world further down the road towards autocracy and nationalism. Regardless of how one identifies in such matters, it is safe to say that ideological tribalism and identity politics are sweeping the globe like a virus. Weaponized news, deliberately false information and partisan talking points only intensifies and gives fuel to societal fires and leads to a general sense of dissatisfaction in the lack of creative and critical thought in the political sphere. That is one path. And, if we stay on it, belief systems will solidify even further and guarantee further division. The purpose of this project is to find a more rational and more enlightened path.
We know that in our world there are unnecessary conflicts that are often quite violent and destructive to the lives of innocent men, women, and children. This should be alarming to people throughout the world, including peoples of all nations, races, and ethnicities, because the world has evolved into a global society where our livelihood increasingly depends on global stability and where distant conflicts can become a threat to peace far closer to home. The modern world has evolved into one where all regions and peoples on earth are largely interdependent and are thus, they are dependent on a common system of understanding in order to achieve orderly and peaceful coexistence, communication, and commerce.
Peace is elusive in our world today, both on the global scale and within our own lives as well. Some of us might try to retreat from active engagement with society at large, but those who do so often find that inner peace is partially dependent upon political and societal peace. As it happens, the reverse is true as well because political and societal peace can only come about when more people find their own inner peace. The key to finding peace is by developing greater levels of education, understanding, awareness, and reason across all aspects of life.
We all have an outer world in which we interact with each other and an inner world where our thoughts, feelings, needs, and desires originate. Our inner (conscious) and outer (social) worlds can seem to be out of touch with one another, since after all we can’t very easily understand other people’s thoughts and feelings and we often find it difficult and frustrating when we try to get others to understand us. Our inner and outer worlds may seem disconnected from each other, but maybe there could be a way to integrate these worlds through innovations in science and communication. Such innovations, once fully developed, should allow us to promote greater societal understanding and inner awareness, which should then lead to greater inner and outer peace.
What we first need to do is to understand the most significant foundational cause of the most damaging conflicts in our global society. We can primarily identify this as the clash of worldviews, and we need to understand what are the major worldviews in our global society and how they are different from each other and also how they are similar. In general we can say that a worldview is a person’s comprehensive philosophy of human life and of the universe. All religious and spiritual belief systems would probably count as worldviews, and there are a number of notable secular worldviews as well, the later often incorporating atheism or agnosticism.
As we seek to find greater peace and more innovative ways of integrating our inner and outer worlds, we might recognize that each of the major worldviews is flawed in some way and that therefore we need to seek a more enlightened worldview. We will seek to find a middle ground between people who have different worldviews and different ideologies. We will work towards innovations in communication and understanding that will allow people to better relate to each other.